Traditionally tablecloths have been light colors, typically white, creams or ivories. Then, with the introduction of polyester and other fabrics, vibrant colors were added to the options including purples, forest greens, sapphire blues and even the modern glitzy and sequined options.
However, it is also possible to create a very dramatic table presentation for any type of event using a black tablecloth. The dark background is a perfect way to highlight place settings or contrasting colors with napkins, table runners and table overlays.
Simple and Elegant
For a formal dinner, the use of a black tablecloth as the only covering on the table is a change from the traditional white tablecloth. When using the black background, you will find the white place settings will be beautifully displayed. Try using other dramatic colors such as yellows, blues, or reds that will really pop, just use the bright colors for more contrast.
Another option to consider is to use the black background and use chargers under the plates. Chargers of gold or silver on the black background and with white place settings is a classic look that is formal and elegant. You may also want to consider gold colored cutlery to bring out even more of the classic look.
Table Runners and Overlays
To brighten up the black tablecloth, consider using a runner or a table overlay. The runner is a narrow strip of fabric that is positioned down the length of a table. White lace or sequined or glitz runners make a spectacular addition.
A table overlay is a smaller tablecloth that goes over the base tablecloth. This is most often seen with a round table and base black cloth and then a smaller, square overlay. Burlap, sequined, embroidered or satin in a bright color will all look amazing in this combination.